Create a Sense of Urgency with a Potential Buyer and You Will Close More Deals
Can a salesperson create a sense of urgency with a potential buyer if a sense of urgency is not apparent to the seller or the buyer? The answer is yes if the seller asks the right questions!
Can a salesperson create a sense of urgency with a potential buyer if a sense of urgency is not apparent to the seller or the buyer? To answer that question requires a definition of what I mean by a sense of urgency.
A sense of urgency is emotionally driven as well as intellectually justified and becomes apparent based on the consequences of not making a yes or no decision by a predetermined deadline.
In many sales scenarios the buyer has a sense of urgency and that information is openly communicated to the seller. In other sales scenarios that is not the case. In the four sales scenarios described below the sales timeline can range from immediate to a year or more. From a sales process perspective, it is the buyer’s sense of urgency that lengthens or shortens the sales timeline.
- Scenario #1: The buyer is looking for a quick fix and has the money in the budget.
- Scenario #2: The buyer is looking for a product or service to solve an identified problem and is motivated by a critical business initiative.
- Scenario #3: The buyer is looking for a solution to problem where the buyer requires the expertise of the seller to help define the solution.
- Scenario #4: The buyer is looking for a consultancy service where the seller can guarantee a long-term commitment to the buyer’s business strategy.
I recommend you schedule time to review all the sold deals in your pipeline over the past twelve months. First indentify how each deal fits into the four scenarios above. Then look at how long it took for a yes decision based on the date you entered the deal in the pipeline and when the yes decision was made. This study will give you an average timeline model to work with. Keep in mind that the results will be different based on industry, and there could also be a difference between sellers within the same organization. You can use this information strategically to help create a sense of urgency with a prospect.
Rating a buyer’s sense of urgency as high, medium, or low is the seller’s responsibility and is dependent on the seller’s willingness to implement the strategy. Being able to more accurately rate the buyer’s sense of urgency by sales scenario has a major impact on how we manage our time. Do you really want to spend your time chasing deals with a low to moderate sense of urgency at the expense of deals with a high sense of urgency? How about spending your time chasing low to moderate sense of urgency deals at the expense of new business development activities that search for high sense of urgency deals?
To reiterate, we are talking about sales opportunities where the buyer has not communicated their sense of urgency about making a final buying decision. There is only one requirement that enables a seller to include this strategy into their sales process. They must become practiced at asking the right questions at the right time early in the sales cycle.
The first step in the process is to establish a targeted decision date that we can follow-up on. Getting agreement this way also justifies follow-up telephone calls. If the answer to the question falls outside of your experiential window (see the results of your study) you know upfront that there may be an issue with sense of urgency. Below are some sample questions that you can use to get started.
- Based on my personal experience, clients in your situation make a buying decision within “X” days (use the information from your study). Would you say that is true in your situation as well?
- Based on the time it will take us to deliver our solution and the time it will take you to implement the solution, what is the ‘drop dead’ date where you must give me a ‘go’ or ‘no go’ answer so that you can get what you want by that deadline?
- Are there any negative consequences to you personally, or to your company, if we delay getting started past a certain date? If there are, what are the consequences and what is that date?
- How would you rate your sense of urgency concerning this project?
- Just out of curiosity, what would need to happen, internally or externally, that would increase your sense of urgency concerning this project?
- Based on our quote, what questions do you have that might delay your decision to move forward with our company?
Learn more about the author, Howard Dion.
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- Sense of Urgency
- Close Deals
- Close Sales